When the steward of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not from where it was: (but the servants who drew the water knew;) the steward of the feast called the bridegroom,
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Cornelius a Lapide
When the governor of the feast, &c. Tasted: he did not give credit entirely to the smell and ruddy colour, but he tasted, and found that it was the very best and most excellent wine. For tasting was the surest way of judging.
And when men are inebriated (Vulg.), well drunk (Eng. Vers.), i.e, exhilarated. For intoxication in Scripture often means a liberal draught which gladdens the mind, but does not deprive it of the use of reason. For if these guests had been really drunk, surely Jesus would never have turned water into wine for them, for then He would have assisted and encouraged their drunkenness. Much rather would He have put a stop to their potations, and sent them home. And the Blessed Virgin would have done the same.
Then that which is worse: because, when the stomach is filled with wine, it is a poor judge of the quality. This is a type of the deceitfulness of the world, which at the beginning presents things that are fair to the eye, and afterwards brings in what is vile and worthless, and so deceives and deludes its lovers.
But thou hast kept, &c. Hence it is plain that this wine was most excellent as being the work of Christ, and therefore Divine. For the works of God are perfect. Thus the loaves which Christ multiplied to feed the four thousand were as sweet as manna. And S. Chrysostom says that the limbs of those persons which Christ restored became stronger than they were originally.
All these things were wisely ordered by Christ, so that the miracle might be perfectly well attested. For the master of the feast called the bridegroom, and asked him from whence was this wine. He replied that he knew nothing about it. Then, learning from the servants the sequence of what had been done, they came to the waterpots, and found them all full of the best wine. Whereupon they burst forth in praise of Jesus as the author of the miracle, and their benefactor, and made known what had been done to all the guests. Jesus, avoiding vainglory, retired, first admonishing them to use this wine with moderation, to the praise of God, with giving of thanks to Him.